TV has always been a uniting force in my house. The family evenings we happily devoted to being emotionally devastated by The Wire show that television, like most things, is just more fun with other people. As the saying goes, “the family that watches a ridiculous amount of TV together stays together.”
My favorite shows span comedy and drama, and often blur the lines between them. The Sopranos is heartbreaking, violent, and bleak, but its scripts are often hilarious as well. Parks and Recreation is a classic half-hour sitcom, but its sincerity and emotional impact have made me cry on more occasions than I would like to number here. The same mingling of genres may explain why I love Mad Men, Party Down, Freaks and Geeks, The Office, and Game of Thrones.
There is also a special place in my heart for pure, ludicrous comedy. My brothers and I have spent endless hours together cackling at It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Arrested Development, Seinfeld, Frasier, 30 Rock, and everything by British comedians Stewart Lee and Limmy. I meant it when I said ridiculous amounts of TV!
When it comes to film, my favorites are intimate character studies (This is England, The Best of Youth, Gomorra, Her, and Diva) or lighthearted comedies (Clueless, Wet Hot American Summer,and Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa). I never thought animated movies could do much for me, but Up and Wall-E prove that I was very wrong to generalize. I’d like to write for the big or little screens one day—if I’m not too busy re-watching all those shows I mentioned earlier—but I’m also open to other possibilities. The 1950s advertising industry, local government in Indiana and the mafia all seem like solid options.